Including People with Disabilities in Nonprofits & Foundations

In an unprecedented new partnership in the USA, 16 philanthropic and nonprofit organizations have joined together to present a series of free online training sessions on the nuts and bolts of how to include people with disabilities. The series and partnership comes following the recent release of “Disability in Philanthropy & Nonprofits: A Study on the Inclusion and Exclusion of the 1-in-5 People Who Live with a Disability and What You Can Do to Make Things Better,” which shows that while 75% of the sector wants to include people with disabilities, they don’t know how to do it.

Indeed, despite great intentions, the push for diversity, equity, access and inclusion in the field has not yet led to better outcomes for people with disabilities in our sector. Time and time again, organizations unintentionally discriminate against people with disabilities in their grant applications, programming, events, resources, websites and hiring practices.

“It’s all about getting the skills needed to ensure access, opportunity and equity for people with disabilities,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility, the nonprofit which convened the partnership and sessions. “Hence, the series was designed by people with disabilities themselves to specifically complement what people told us in the study that they want to learn, and where there are gaps in equity practices.” All eight sessions will be free and online, with live captioning. There will be absolutely no fundraising solicitation.

The eight training sessions are:

> Disability 101
> Disability History
> How to Ensure Accessible Events
> How to Recruit, Accommodate and Promote People with Disabilities for Volunteer Leadership, Board Positions and Paid Employment
> How to Ensure A Welcoming Lexicon and Inclusive Storytelling
> How to Ensure Accessible Websites, Social Media and Inclusive Photos
> Premium Skills Workshop in Social Media Accessibility
> How to Ensure Legal Rights and Compliance Obligations: Exploring the Rights of Employees and Participants, and the Obligations of Nonprofit Organizations Under the Law

Learn more about each of these sessions at

This series is being led by RespectAbility in partnership with leading thinkers around equity in the philanthropic and nonprofit space: BoardSource; The California Wellness Foundation; Catalogue for Philanthropy, Greater Washington; Center for Disaster Philanthropy; The Chronicle of Philanthropy; The Communications Network; The Divas With Disabilities Project; Exponent Philanthropy; Media Impact Funders; National Center of Disability Journalism; National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; National Council of Nonprofits; New York Women’s Foundation; The Unfunded List; and Weingart Foundation.

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